Craigdarroch Castle was once the exquisite mansion of coal baron John Dunsmuir. Since becoming a National Historic Site, it has been undergoing a beautiful transformation to its original glory. It is open year round for tours and is especially attractive when decorated in the Victorian manner, for the Christmas season. Craigdarroch has one of North America’s finest collections of Victorian residential stained and leaded glass windows, along with the many varieties of carved woods, local and exotic, that were [...]
Spring comes early to Victoria. There are many early blooming, oriental cherry trees to be seen around town. View Street is an especial treat even now in early March! Our own garden has bulbs of every type and colour. Snowdrops were a bit late because of a colder winter (usually they arrive in late December) and were followed shortly thereafter by the crocuses, and now the early daffodils and hyacinth.
World famous, The Butchart Gardens is open year round. In 1904, Jennie Butchart set about to transform a depleted limestone quarry on their property into a garden. (Her husband’s Portland cement company had abandoned it.) Eventually, Jennie and her staff of gardeners developed several other garden areas, covering almost half of the original 130 acre estate. And the family shared their glorious grounds with their friends and neighbours over the years. It is now a garden paradise with a variety [...]
photo by Binners photo by Binners From the early spring’s floral delights, to the world’s tallest single tree totem pole, the stone bridge built in 1889 over Goodacre Lake, the herons’ and eagles’ nests, the picturesque vistas, playing fields, and children’s petting zoo and splash pond Beacon Hill’s 184 oceanside acres formal gardens, rocky meadows and beachside paths offer many pleasures. photos by Binners photo by Binners photo by Binners The Children’s Petting Zoo where each [...]
An exceptional wander anytime. Formerly the Spencer family mansion home, which they donated to the city for the arts. More space was added later. Current exhibits include new exhibits The AGGV also houses the largest collection of works by Emily Carr, who herself was a native of Victoria. One of Carr’s most charming books, entitled, The Book of Small, is for sale at the original Emily Carr house, as well as at Munro’s Books, Victoria’s venerable and architecturally classic book [...]
This was once the private residence of the exiled Georgian Prince, Nicholas Abkhazi and his true love, Victoria native Marjorie Pemberton-Carter. They were reunited in 1946 after years of wartime separation and tragedy. And for 40 years they lovingly toiled on this one acre property, creating an amazing series of ponds, paths and vignettes, drifting down over the rocky outcroppings, and through the native Garry oak meadow, to the shady woodland garden below. After their passing, ownership eventually went to [...]
We loved our few days at Binners’ in Victoria. The food, the accommodations, the level of hospitality … all, over the top!
Beginning late August, the Fringe takes over dozens of theatre and non-traditional concert venues for a veritable banquet of performing arts productions … some silly, some funny, some thought-provoking, some too deep for words. There’ll be over 400 performances by alternative theatre companies from around Canada and the world. The Fringe is Vancouver Island’s largest theatre event and features dramatic theatre, comedy, drama, spoken word, and music. Shows will take place at 13 theatre and non-traditional theatre venues across town. [...]
It may seem quiet, but there are a myriad of activities here in Victoria that happen during “the quiet season” … Opera, Ballet, live Theatre, amazing holiday crafts fairs, the Storytellers’ Guild, Folk Music Night at Norway House, Hatley Park as you’ve never seen it (see insert), the salmon spawning spectacle at Goldstream Park, etc. Fine restaurants, bistros and brewpubs, besieged in the summer by the high season crush, now become cozy places to “pop” into without reservations, and try [...]
Aged appliances have been replaced with a GE Profile Energy Star slide-in range, a Bosch energy and water saver tall tub dishwasher, and the Maytag high capacity, low water usage laundry system … these use less power, less water, less soap.